Lawmakers on both sides comment on potential gun legislation aft - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Lawmakers on both sides comment on potential gun legislation after Vegas attack

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

For the first time in recent memory, Republican lawmakers and even the NRA are receptive to looking at a new gun regulation. 

A bill is now on the Senate floor to ban bump stocks - a device Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock used to almost turn his assault rifles into fully-automatic guns. What are bump stocks and what do they do? 

The accessory allows someone to shoot their gun much faster than a normal, semi-automatic rifle. Effectively using them, like Paddock did, takes hours and hours of training. For most people, trigger modifications or bump stocks are means to fire faster for fun. 

"You can shoot a couple hundred rounds a minute with it," said Nicolas Aaron, the manager of The Gun Shop. 

For Stephen Paddock, it was a way to fire hundreds of rounds of ammo into an unsuspecting crowd, leading to the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. Now, the bump stock - an accessory many people had never heard of before Sunday - is at the center of our country's gun debate. 

"Everybody, with the recent talk of it, it's the new thing that everybody either wants to have before they get banned. It's the new craze," said Aaron. 

The part is selling out as many gun users look to take advantage before lawmakers make a decision on them. Back in 2010, the ATF determined it was a 'firearm part, not regulated as a firearm under Gun Control Act or National Firearms Act.'

The bump-stock qualifies as an accessory because it comes on and off the gun. It's relatively cheap and there is no background check involved. 

"It is not actually a trigger mechanism. It's an attachment that allows you to touch the trigger faster. All it is is a means of a device that allows you to pull the trigger more rapidly," said Aaron.

Lawmakers on both sides are admitting that now is the time to have that conversation. Fully automatic weapons have been banned for years. Senator David Perdue's office says, 'If this is a loophole that gets around that intent, then I would want to look at that.'

Georgia's other Republican senator, Johnny Isakson, says in part that he believes we need common sense solutions that keep all Americans safe without infringing on our Constitutional rights.

Now, all eyes are on Capitol Hill to see what, if anything, will be done to address what many are calling a loophole around federal law. 

Aaron says in years past, he only sold about one bump-stock a year. This Thursday, he took several calls about them. In fact, their distributors don't have any stock because of the demand. 

South Carolina senators responded to the topic, Lindsey Graham saying, 'I think it'd be a good time to have a hearing, just to find out how does the technology work and is there a legislative solution?'

Senator Tim Scott's office says he is continuing to research the issue and how to best proceed from a Congressional standpoint. 

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